One thing that people are not using enough are tools that Affiliate networks give you like widgets and storefronts. I love these because they not only build a product listing that my readers can find relevant products for, but they can update automatically to take the work out of updating my sites for me. If you have a content based site, a coupon site or any other type of site, these can help you not only convert traffic better, but they can also help you show how you are adding value because you can help to show that you are increasing your Merchants’ AOV.
Storefronts – Storefronts are products listed in a format that looks like an ecommerce shop. They are normally driven by datafeeds. One thing you want to make sure you do is to write your own custom descriptions, tags and everything else so you don’t duplicate what everyone else has in their storefronts.
Here’s how to use widgets and storefronts to convert your traffic into sales, and also help to increase the AOV for your merchants showing that you can and do add value to them.
Coupon sites – When a coupon site is ranking for your trademarks, especially Trademark+ coupon code in a search engine, my opinion is that it isn’t adding any value. So how can these pages help to add value and show an increase in revenue for a Merchant? They can add in products and upsell or cross-sell products for you. If they are showing up for your trademarks, you are losing a sale that you either paid to bring in or that one of your Affiliates who is sending you new visitors and customers sent you. You are also losing money on the commission paid to that coupon site, the network fee and the discount of the actual coupon. You also have a loss because a lot of content sites that send new visitors to you will not work with you because of this. When the person is on their site, they just want to save money.
They found it because they saw the coupon code box in your shopping cart and left to go find a coupon. By getting your coupon sites to include product widgets of best sellers, and have widgets that show complimentary products to the coupons you let them use, you can begin to measure if people are looking at these products, clicking on them and adding them to their cart. If they do, then all of the sudden the coupon site is starting to add value when they originally weren’t. One thing you have to make sure of is that the coupons on that site have no relevance to that product or are not for discounts on that product. Instead it can be a category based coupon and a category based widget to see if the AOV increases. You cannot compare week to week on this, you’ll need to do year over year since we are in Q4. You also have to remember that if you have these sites in your program optimizing for your trademarks + coupon, coupons, coupon code, etc… you are also going to lose Affiliates who are content based because they don’t want to watch their cookies get overwritten by someone who is poaching your cart. This also means that you need to take the overall value of the increase in AOV, minus the commission minus the amount taken off by the coupon and see if the loss from content sites is more or less since they will no longer send you new people who may have never heard of or remembered you without them. This is also only for coupon sites that have a page ranking for your trademarks, not all of them. If they add in the widgets, they can possibly increase your AOV and your overall numbers to add value and increase their own revenue because their order value is higher.
Bloggers and Websmasters –
This is an awesome way for you to monetize your Q4 traffic. Instead of your normal gift guide or just mentioning products in a post, create a page specifically for shopping. Call it top holiday gifts, most popular products or shop for our favorites and support this site. (You can even combine your gift guide into it by adding in side tabs with the store names from your gift guide which can help to get them to buy right then instead of waiting and having to hope they come back later. Then when the store name is clicked they’ll be taken to a page that has the products for your gift guide in that storefront.)
Then when the readers click on the tab for your storefront page you could place in anything from an Amazon A Store to a storefront created by a datafeed tool like make a page on share a sale or goldencan or popshops which are services that create dynamic storefronts for you. You can also have a Merchant create a widget that meets the color, size and product guidelines of your site. Now when you are posting about the holidays you can link into this section and share your favorite products and wishlists with them and help them shop right through your site after you get done preselling for them. Not only can this boost your conversions, but it is an awesome way to generate sales.
These tools are perfect for facebook pages. You can either create a tab and put on a shopping cart icon or you could use a service like my client Pagemodo (part of Webs.com) which has ecommerce tabs and templates for free. Once you have picked out which icon and tab you want to use, you just need to name it something fun that your audience will react to like kick a** christmas gifts or discounts on top toys, etc… One of the things you can do to help pick a name are to look at the analytics from reactions of the things you post on your timeline. Then see how many people are clicking through and work on optimizing the name and then the products that sell best.
Making money during Q4 is easy if you have traffic. You just need to think about how to get relevant products in front of them when they are ready to shop, or have them available when you are posting about them. When you are posting on your blog or website, link into your store or widget when you talk about a product or when you’re on Facebook, don’t forget to link into your ecommerce tab so that you can direct people to the products you are talking about when you are posting. Widgets and storefronts help to increase your conversions because they show the products and where to buy them as your readers are reading about them. I highly recommend you give them a try this Q4.